Young patients showcase their musical talents

The sun was shining and the wind mercifully still when more than 40 young people gathered for the first ever ‘Green Fest’ music festival at our Northampton site last week.

The group included seven incredibly brave adolescents who showcased their talents on stage to the resounding applause of their peers. The festival also featured performances from four external acts as well as Music Technical Instructor, Bob Plews.

Event organiser and English Teacher, Paul Hanrahan, said he first drew together the idea after exploring opportunities for young people to relax and enjoy live music. His aim was to recreate a real festival vibe during a fully catered day out.

“Music is the one language everyone can relate to, and often it becomes a very good coping strategy,” Paul said. “For the young people performing today that certainly rings true. At first they act really confident but then as the event nears you can see the fear. I’m very proud to see them get up and nail their performances today.

“Even though I’ve not stopped yet, I am happy with the way things have turned out. Looking around seeing so many young people enjoying themselves has made it worth it. Not all of them have seen live music before, so this was really a way of giving them that opportunity.”

As well as music, a number of interactive stalls were also available – including lawn games, street graffiti, face-painting, glitter tattoos and a photo booth. A chilli-nacho break at 2pm was similarly well received.

TOB, who performed a staggering three sets including two duets, took some time to speak about the experience.

“Singing on stage is really nerve-wracking, but when I’m up on stage the music takes over. Afterwards there’s adrenaline, definitely,” TOB said.

Some would say it wouldn’t be a British music festival without a spot of rain, so it was perhaps fitting that a light mist appeared as TOB and fellow singer/guitarist ET sang an emotional rendition of A Great Big World’s ‘Say Something (I’m Giving Up On You).

Other tracks included Vance Joy’s ‘Riptide’ and a skilful mashup which started out with Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ and merged into rhythms and lyrics borrowed from other popular classics such as Skinny Love, Forget You, The Monster, Iris and Somebody I Used to Know.

EM, who spent some time getting photos taken at the music themed photo booth, said: “It’s good today. Lots of people have turned up.”

It was undoubtedly a successful and well-received occasion which has paved the way for the adolescent graduation ceremonies taking place next week.